Who Needs a Reason to Hate Ann Romney?

I find it really hilarious how all of the super-duper ultra-progressive Liberals turn into the worst retrogrades in the universe when a chance comes to dump on an enemy. Or his wife. I don’t know how many times in the past couple of days I found the following quote from Ann Romney bandied around self-righteously by people who fail to realize that dumping on Ann Romney for making this particular statement turns them into anti-feminist bigots of the worst caliber:

“I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids. Thank goodness that we value those people too. And sometimes life isn’t easy for any of us.”

The following reaction to Ann Romney’s words appeared on the website that hides its contempt of women behind male privilege lists and commands to women as to which of our body parts we should not value:

You know who doesn’t love the fact that there are women (and men) who have no choice but to work, rather than staying home full-time? It’s those women (and men) who have no choice but to work. That’s not something they celebrate; that’s something they lament.

I’m a woman who always had and always will have to work. My sister is such a woman. My husband is such a man. We don’t have a choice to stay home even part-time, let alone full-time. And we in no way “lament” this. We actually do celebrate it, believe it or not.

I love it that I never had a choice to work or not. If I had, I might have given in to my indolence, my laziness, my inertia and deprived myself of the incredible joy my profession gives to me every day. It’s not easy to stay up reading when your peers are dancing in a nightclub. It’s no fun to receive yet another rejection from a journal. And it’s a total drag to have to get out of bed at 6 am to be at the final exam at 8 am, as I will do on Wednesday and Thursday.

Just like many of the people I know, I could have given in to the temptation and said, “Ah, to hell with all this trouble, the recalcitrant students, the mean publishing houses, the colleagues who constantly disagree, the tyranny of the alarm-clock, the annoying administrators, and the daunting tenure requirements.” I want to be honest here, so I won’t pretend that I would have worked nearly as hard if I had millions of dollars in a bank account. I know I wouldn’t have.

And if that happened, I would have never had the same intense intellectual growth as I experience now, I wouldn’t have cried for joy when getting yet another message from a student about how I changed her life, I wouldn’t have felt what it is like to create a comfortable life for myself from scratch, I wouldn’t have experienced making my very first big purchase with the money I made completely on my own, I wouldn’t have the same overwhelming pride in my own achievement as I do know. Hell, I wouldn’t even be with my husband because my passion for my career was the very first thing that attracted him to me.

This is why I absolutely love it that I don’t have a choice and have to go to work tomorrow. You couldn’t pay me enough to get me to become a housewife. Seriously, there isn’t enough money on this planet.

The blogger I linked to betrays his deep-seated envy for Ann Romney when he says that she is “tremendously lucky.” I guess if money is the only thing you value, then, sure enough, she is fortunate. I, however, can’t envy the situation of a person who never had a profession or a career of her own and whose identity is entirely diluted in that of her husband and sons. People only care what she has to say right now because her husband is running for president. On her own, as a separate individual, she interests no one. I have a small audience here on my blog, but at least my readers come here because they are interested in me, not my husband. Never having any meaning or value as a human being in your own right, how sad! I honestly wouldn’t wish this fate on my worst enemy, irrespective of how many millions accompanied it.

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17 comments on “Who Needs a Reason to Hate Ann Romney?

  1. You’re right, I don’t really care enough to have a reaction to Ann Romney. Fortunately for you what you excel at AND love is renumerative (enough to support yourself). A lot of people don’t have excellence, passion and adequate renumeration in their jobs. I imagine you getting down from your transportation and skipping to your office from your posts. :P

    • “A lot of people don’t have excellence, passion”

      - Is some horrible mean person preventing them from having either?

      “Fortunately for you what you excel at AND love is renumerative”

      - I might be “Russian” but I’m not that fatalistic. :-) :-)

  2. As you will know from my own columns, I always speak my mind, as do you. That is why I have logged on to your columns.

    I have to say that I find myself increasingly alienated by your arrogant and self-obsessed columns about women who work at home. Let me say that I was brought up by such a mother, to my immense advantage. She won a scholarship to a grammar school in 1911 in England, the first girl in her city so to do. Her father died and her brother failed the scholarship. With a generosity that you just would not understand she gsave up that scholarship,and worked in the cotton mills for twenty years to see him into professional accountancy.
    Her sacrifice was rewarded. He brought her to Southampton and employed her in his firm. There she met my father, an entrpreneur who raised a good family.

    My mother stayed at home and taught my brother and I grammar and spellings , always providing us with meals and support through our schooling years. How proud she was of our successes, especially mine. And how proud I am of her contribution.

    Nature has a nasty way of repaying bad attitudes towards others. I strongly recommend that you tone down your vicious attacks on women who may well be far superior to you in terms of devotion to their children. As things are, I strongly recommend that you refrain from bringing children into this world until you learn that self-sacrifice is crucial to motherhood. The harm that you may do to them is simply beyond calculation.
    I am sorry to write this, but you have begged for it, and no one else will tell you you the truth about motherhood.

    • I think that if anybody is qualified to tell “the truth” about motherhood, those people should be mothers, don’t you think? :-)

      The studies on the horrible damage that housewifery causes to women and their families are abundant. The studies on the damage of self-sacrificial mentality are, too.

    • *facepalm*
      You know what’s arrogant and self-obsessed? Telling another blogger not only how to write, but lecturing her about when -you- think she should exercise her reproductive choices because you think your way is the very best for everyone.
      You may have (what you think is) a wonderful story about a stay-at-home mother who gave up living a fulfilled life for her children, but there are plenty of us who have stories about growing up with stay-at-home mothers who stunted our growth, our potential, and our happiness through their misery, boredom, and lack of intellectual, social, and professional fulfilment.
      My mother’s “self-sacrifice” translated into endless guilt-tripping and unhappiness for both herself, me, and my sister. The misery of being a housewife and giving up her chances at being a professional in a sport she loved warped her, and eventually turned her into an alcoholic. Now THAT is harm beyond calculation.

      • “but there are plenty of us who have stories about growing up with stay-at-home mothers who stunted our growth, our potential, and our happiness through their misery, boredom, and lack of intellectual, social, and professional fulfilment.”

        - And we deserve for our voices to be heard, too. Our experiences belong to us and we have the right to share them. I’m not going to blogs of any people who describe their happy housewifely experiences and tell them to stop doing that. Not a single time in my life have I tried to do that. This is why I feel completely entitled to share my experiences and my ideas in my own blog. If this facet of reality is so traumatic to some people, they have the option not to read such posts. I, for instance, don’t read posts describing co-sleeping because I know they will traumatize me. But, once again, I do not dispute anybody’s right to publish them.

    • Wow, Clarissa, you have just been mansplained. Now bow down to the superior male intellect that knows what is best for the little woman, and be prepared to have your “contribution” remembered and thanked a couple of times in your life maybe, after you’ve been berated for burning the toast and not having dinner warm on the table when your lord and master gets home.

      I can’t believe that anyone would actually think a woman giving up a scholarship — the first one a girl in her city had ever won — so she can work in a cotton mill (asdfghjklgfdsasdfghjk) to help her failure of a brother (who failed the scholarship test she passed ASDFGHJ;LKJHGFDFGJKL;KJHGF) become an accountant (which is so much more important a career than some dumb old academic thing lololol) — was anything but a tragedy. Oh, and if you think anyone here believes she “voluntarily” gave up her chance at getting away from her patriarchal prison of a family, you must really think we are stupid. It’s obvious to anyone who knows anything about the history of women in Western culture that a woman of that time could not be allowed to rise above her brother and that the fact that she was smarter and better than he was must be punished and disregarded. And then you have the nerve to tell someone else on their blog not only how they should write, but how they should think and feel. This isn’t my blog so this is a very cleaned up version of what you would read if it was. I’ll just end this by saying men like you are holding back civilization from advancing like it should — not all those mean women who won’t drop their own lives so they can live the rest of their lives as supports and servants to undeserving, inadequate men.

      PS: if you didn’t want me to rake your family history over the coals, you shouldn’t have mentioned it. I say this because I know you’ll turn your little “tone argument” weaponette on me and probably also bitch that I’ve “insulted your family.” This ain’t my first time at this kind of rodeo.

      • I always find it very strange when people read an opinion on a blog and use the “what did you just say about my mother??” argument. One’s relatives only matter to oneself, and expecting others to bow down before them as if they were some sort of an authority is weird. Nobody can reasonably be expected to share our love for our relatives.

        As for self-sacrificial people, I’ve seen a few. Every single one of them was a very skilled manipulator. People are guided by self-interest, as we all know, and nobody sacrifices themselves without getting something in return. I have learned to run away the second when anybody begins to hint that they have sacrificed this and that for me. I know that they are preparing to flay me alive in return for the sacrifices I never solicited. Mind you, I’m not discussing anybody’s mother. I’m discussing people I’ve met.

        As for Charles Rowley’s story, I’ve read it before. It’s titled The Mill on the Floss. A great novel. :-)

      • Oh god yes, the first time a person tells me they’ve done something for me at great inconvenience to themselves is usually my signal to run far, far away. I hate this because it’s always an attempt to put me under an obligation. I actually had a so-called friend tell me she’d stopped looking for a boyfriend because I didn’t have one. I didn’t have one because I wasn’t interested in such a relationship. It was no fucking concern of mine what she did with her personal life. But she tried to blame me for her lack of a relationship. After all these years that still enrages me. And that’s just one person I knew — I’ve had all sorts of people use that BS on me: “I’m going out of my way to help you, now you owe me.”

      • Exactly! And that’s just a friend. Imagine a mother who has sacrificed EVERYTHING for you and now, in the complete absence of a life of her own, can guilt-trip you from here to the moon and back. That’s no fun at all, let me tell you.

  3. You are all entitled to your opinions about what is best for you. What is best for other women frankly is none of your business. Many women want to be home-makers and to take time out to look after their children. Many others do not. Each to their own, I say. And see how the children of each group fare in life. Ann Romney has brought up a fine set of boys. They appear to be well-adjusted, well-educated and happy. How many latch-key children grow up so well adjusted?

    What I object to in Clarissa’s and your responses to my comment is the notion that you know what is best and that you are prepared to excoriate women who choose differently. That is unjustifiable arrogance, in my opinion.

    I do not say to all of you: stay at home and take care of your children. So why do you say, go out to work or you are a disgrace to womankind? Guilt, in some cases, explains such an unreasoned response. Or perhaps an unthinking attachment to a particular brand of feminism may trigger your responses.

    Now surely there are some families in which stay at home mothers have disappointed. The scientific approach should be one of deduction not induction. Start out with a general statement and attempt to falsify it. Your approaches – starting out from your own circumstances, and generalizing to the world at large, went out with Karl Popper. And that was essential to the advancement of science.

    • “nd see how the children of each group fare in life. Ann Romney has brought up a fine set of boys. They appear to be well-adjusted, well-educated and happy. How many latch-key children grow up so well adjusted?”

      - According to every single study on the subject (and to the experiences of every child of a housewife I have ever met), the children of housewives are a lot less successful and a lot more likely to suffer from:

      a) low self-esteem,
      b) eating disorders,
      c) alcoholism and drug addiction,
      d) underachievement in school and at work,
      e) depression and loneliness.

      They also end up making a lot less money than children of successful women who have lives of their own.

      I have placed mile-long bibliographies on this subject right here on the blog.

      “What I object to in Clarissa’s and your responses to my comment is the notion that you know what is best and that you are prepared to excoriate women who choose differently.”

      - I form opinions one what is best on a regular basis and so do you. We observe every day reality, read, educate ourselves, and arrive at a conclusion that it’s better, say, not to become addicted to drugs and alcohol, not to cheat on one’s spouse, not to steal ideas from a colleague.

      ” So why do you say, go out to work or you are a disgrace to womankind? Guilt, in some cases, explains such an unreasoned response.”

      - Guilt towards whom, exactly?? I say it because I have been studying this subject for over 15 years and I have formed an educated opinion on the basis of massive amount of research that I have read. I also have personal experiences with having a housewife around and those experiences I can only qualify as tragic.

      “Your approaches – starting out from your own circumstances, and generalizing to the world at large, went out with Karl Popper.”

      - It is not our fault that mountains of research support our experiences. Google “housewives” and “depression.”

  4. Defenders of housewifery who use feminism to explain their defence always forget or deliberately misunderstand the fundamentals of feminism. The very core of feminism is 1.) To empower women today through economic, creative, intellectual, political, social, and personal freedom, 2.) Allow women to pursue the creation and maintenance of a personal identity so that they exist outside of how they’re defined by their relationships to others, and 3.) Ensure a better tomorrow for women and girls of the future.
    I fail to see how housewifery does this, in fact, the evidence would show it to be an obstacle towards attaining all of these.

  5. You should read the empirlcal evidence by Charles Murray and others on the impact of single parenthood on children’ wellbeing. Absolutely disastrous! And that is independent of race, or income. Please look at the evidence, and do not rely entirely on your own local experiences.

    Moreover, your personal experience is unusual to to say the least. If at the age of 7 years you could not come home and undress yourself, a parent substitute must have been around. Otherwise, goodness knows what diseases would have over -overwhelmed you while your seemingly selfish parents spent their time taking care of themselves in their work environments.

    In the United States, few poor families can afford such support – because labor is not by serfs – so poor families leave their offspring loose like monkeys to fend for themselves. Surprise, surprise that they grow up alienated from society and unable to make a productive contribution.

    • Charles Murray, the guy that wrote The Bell Curve? He’s not credible. And frankly arguing about single mothers does nothing to convince anyone about how housewives do not harm children or help them.

    • I find Charles Murray book to be completely irrelevant to the subject of the discussion. Once again, leaving my completely irrelevant life experiences aside, there are mountains of studies showing the detrimental effects of housewifery on women and their miserable children.

      Why we suddenly started discussing single parenthood or my mother’s maternity leave she was on when my sister was born is a mystery to me.

      The only people I know of who don’t make a productive contribution to anything are precisely housewives. Only a small percentage of them have small children. The rest either have no children at all or have very adult children who have families of their own. When we are talking about housewifery, let’s not forget that the excuse of small children exist in the lives of housewives for a few short years. The rest of the time they just sit there. Unless you consider heating up a TV dinner a hugely productive act.

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